Year XVІ, Issue 9–10 (179–180)

September 2012
Mykhailo Minakov. The Republic of Regions: still Post-Soviet, ultimately outdated
Tamara Hundorova. Verka Serdiuchka’s Mask: Feminization of Transgression in Post-Totalitarian Culture
Ann Applebaum. In the New World of Spies
Oleh Kotsarev.The Bourgeois Anatomists of Stalinism
Andrii Portnov. Dancing with Memories
Serhii Hirik. Stalin Reloaded
Mykola Borovyk. Walking with Monuments
Oleksandr Starish. Political Science in Ukraine: Twenty Years of Independence
Ian Buruma. Tony Judt: The Right Questions
Timothy Snyder. On Tony Judt
Tony Judt. On Intellectuals and Democracy
Volodymyr Yermolenko. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a Fear of Intimacy
Andrii Bondar. The Years of Occupation



The September-October, 2012 issue of Krytyka opens with “The Republic of Regions: still Post-Soviet, ultimately outdated” by the Ukrainian political scientist and analyst Mykhailo Minakov. He explains how the legacy of Communist Party elites and their regional antagonisms have shaped the ongoing conflict between political and business elites of different Ukrainian regions from Bolshevik times to the present.

Tamara Hundorova of the Institute of Literature of the Ukrainian Academy of Science continues her study “Verka Serdiuchka’s Mask: Feminization of Transgression in Post-Totalitarian Culture” (see Krytyka No. 7–8, 2012 for the first part). Professor Hundorova analyzes in this part the public images of on the one hand the famous drag-queen Verka Sierdiuchka (Andrii Danylko) and on the other of the former prime minister (and now political prisoner) Yulia Tymoshenko.

In her article “In the New World of Spies,” which appeared in The New York Review of Books (vol. 59, No. 16), Ann Applebaum, a columnist for The Washington Post and Slate, recounts the history of Soviet espionage – since Bolshevik times to the recent Anna Chapman scandal. 

Krytyka presents this article in Ukrainian translation as the exclusive partner of NYRB in Ukraine. In his “The Bourgeois Anatomists of Stalinism” Ukrainian critic and poet Oleh Kotsarev reviews several books about the unhappy lots of foreigners imprisoned in the Soviet Union during Stalin’s times, either when they came to USSR because of their convictions, or merely by chance.

The Ukrainian historian Andrii Portnov reviews in his “Dancing with Memories” Georgy Kasyanov’s Dance Macabre, a study of the perceptions and interpretations of the Ukrainian famine, the Holodomor of 1932–33. Portnov approves of his colleague’s non-partisan and nonpolitical approach to academic matters, but finds the study inadequate in various other crucial ways.

In his “Stalin Reloaded” Serhii Hirik of the Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archaeography and Source Studies explores a number of new Russian books on Stalin and
discusses various re-visions of him in contemporary Russia and Ukraine.

The Ukrainian historian Mykola Borovyk replicates in his article “Walking with Monuments” an exercise described in “Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public History” by Michael Frisch, i.e., he surveys his students on their vision of Ukrainian national history and its most important figures. In “Political Science in Ukraine: Twenty Years of Independence,” Oleksandr Starish of Ostroh Academy continues the discussion begun by Serhii Kudelia and by Yuri Matsievskyi in Krytyka No.1–2, 2012 and No. 6, 2012.

In this issue Krytyka pays homage to historian and public intellectual Tony Judt (1948–2010). Ian Buruma recalls Judt’s passion for trains and tries to explain why that was so important for him. Buruma provides an overview of Judt’s intellectual biography, his commitments and inspirations, in “Tony Judt: The Right Questions”, which appeared in The New York Review of Books (vol. 59, No. 6). Timothy Snyder’s recollection “On Tony Judt” (NYRB, vol. 57, No. 15) begins with a train episode too, and both authors highlight Judt’s cosmopolitan identity. Tony Judt himself is represented with an extract from his book “Thinking the Twentieth Century” (with Timothy Snyder) under the title “On Intellectuals and Democracy”.

In his essay “Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a Fear of Intimacy” Volodymyr Yermolenko, a Ukrainian philosopher and essayist, writes on the personal side of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Many of the issues here, above all his failure to become a good public speaker, motivated Rousseau to become a writer who in the end had a profound impact on European literature.

The issue concludes with an essay “The Years of Occupation” by the Ukrainian poet, essayist and translator Andrii Bondar in which he shares his love-hate relationship with the post-War diaries of the German writer Ernst Junger.

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